Aviation is a learning experience, every day it is some new. I have been in aviation well over 45 years and have worked many facets of the industry. Starting out in the military I then began my General Aviation career as a lineman. Having obtained my A&P license I worked as a line mechanic in a repair station, worked for a regional airline, was a Service Manager for a large FBO, ran a 135 department as well as maintaining a rather large flight school. My previous experience as a Service Manager for a large FBO was one of watching the numbers, getting the planes in and out and billed. That was very distasteful for me. As a line mechanic it was also a question of billable hours which again, I saw quality suffer in order to move onto the next job. Customers came and went like the tire shop at a Walmart.
This is not what I wanted to do with my aviation career. I started North Coast Air Care in 1989, Working from a well-equipped van my target customers were corporate owners of Cheyenne’s, Citations, King Airs and Hughes 500 helicopters. I would come to their facility and maintain their aircraft for them. This formula worked out well as the pilot or owner would not have to transport the aircraft to a maintenance facility and could see firsthand as to what work was performed on their aircraft as well as a much lower hourly rate due to my low overhead. In the eleven years I worked this model of aircraft maintenance I was able to establish a high level of quality work and safety but also create relationships, three of the most import facets of my current business model.
In 2000 I move my entire operation to the Akron Fulton Airport and began working in the local FBO. Ten years later I purchased the operating rights to the entire FBO and named it Summit Airport Services. Tony Plucinski was my General Manager and ran the FBO for me. Two years later the City of Akron asked if I was interested in taking over operations of the airport which I did, and we now have a 25-year contract to operate the FBO as well as the airport.
As we grew, I never forgot the lessons learned as a one-man shop maintaining numerous turbine aircraft. Quality maintenance, safety, and relationships.
When you come to our shop you are met by my maintenance staff. We like to call this ‘our interview’ Not only are we establishing a rapport with the customer, but we are also evaluating you as a potential customer. In my earlier days as a transient mechanic, I met with numerous owners and pilots. Although everyone has a different personality, I found if a customer appeared to have a confrontive attitude or was more concerned about saving a dollar than making safety their key concern, I would politely decline my services.
North Coast Air Care and Summit Airport Services is family owned and operated business. Once you enter as a customer you become part of that family. You can be assured that the work performed follows policy. Quality maintenance, safety, and relationships.
During the maintenance process we encourage you to visit your aircraft as it is undergoing maintenance and discuss the process. You will be given the cell phone number of our Director of Maintenance Ken Gohlke and you can call him at any time. If you are on the road and have a maintenance issue a call to him will help in rectifying the issue whether it be a quick over the phone fix or he is speaking with a maintenance provider where you are located and assist in the troubleshooting process.
Ours is a unique maintenance model and it has worked well for us over the years. I encourage you to give me a call 330 338 6072 on my cell, stop in if you like and let’s see if we are a good fit for each other.
John Hogarth, owner/president